Sigmat ‘Super’men Boost Hull Uni Building Programme

Hull University is benefitting from a ‘rapid build’ construction programme – the largest of its type ever seen – as blocks of student apartments rapidly move towards completion thanks to a unique building method pioneered by North Yorkshire firm Sigmat.

Sigmat is headquartered in the scenic market town of Skipton and is the UK’s leading offsite construction specialist. In layman’s terms the company is to construction what Meccano and Lego are to the toy industry!

And it is that skill – the ability to erect building ‘frames’, or what are known in the industry as ‘superstructures’, offsite, enabling construction programmes ‘onsite’ to be shortened by weeks – that is winning the pioneering company contracts nationwide, including Hull.

Operations Manager, John Ritchie, said: “VINCI Construction UK, part of the multi-billion Euro international VINCI organisation, awarded Sigmat the country’s largest ever load-bearing Light Gauge Steel Frame (LGSF) contract, as part of its £97m project to deliver 1,462 apartments across 12 accommodation blocks at Hull University.

“It was done via the University Partnerships Programme and four of the eight blocks are now occupied by students with phases two and three handing over between now and September.

“More to the point, our innovative system – Sigmat built the student blocks’ steel ‘skeletons’ – negated the need for scaffolding, took tens of thousands out of building and labour costs, was lighter, but just as strong, and bettered estimated delivery times, knocking spots off traditional construction methods!”

It was Sigmat’s third major project for VINCI Construction UK and is part of a wider £155m development at the University.

Ahead of awarding the contract, VINCI evaluated alternative methods of construction before deciding on the pioneering LGSF route which stripped huge cost out of the overall job because of its flexibility, strength, lighter weight and innovative ‘offsite Meccano’ approach.

All agreed deadlines were met and Sigmat completed erection of the LGSF superstructures in record time. “It is collectively agreed within the sector that no other superstructure type could have achieved such a positive outcome,” added John.

Sigmat’s construction technology is now achieving such traction in the UK construction industry, that it has offices in Glasgow and Evesham in Worcestershire as well as Skipton, and Leeds in North and West Yorkshire.

Celebrating their success at Hull University:- Sigmat’s Chief Operational Officer Marcus Wood with Operations Manager, John Ritchie,